James W. Lawson

Practice Areas


James W. Lawson specializes in criminal litigation in both state and federal criminal trials, as well as in appellate cases.  He has acted as legal counsel in 39 states and appeared in 25 federal districts. His representation includes businesses and individuals in complex federal and state investigations of health care, contracting, bank fraud, and other economic crimes.  For more than 40 years, he has represented companies, their officers, and their employees through a variety of federal and state investigations and prosecutions.  These matters have typically involved requests for corporate documents along with individual subpoenas for testimony before grand juries or administrative agencies.  James has represented corporations and individuals in cases involving health care and provider services, government and private procurement and false contracting claims, bank fraud, money laundering, construction-related issues, computer and technology claims, and matters related to violations of government regulations.  For investigations ultimately resulting in criminal prosecution, he has negotiated successful resolutions and has tried cases to successful jury conclusions as well.

Prior to joining Prince Lobel, James was a partner at Oteri, Weinberg & Lawson, P.C., in Boston.  He is the former chair of the section on criminal law of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers and a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars.  James is a trustee of the Charity of Edward Hopkins and chair of the Charity Grants Committee of the Memorial Church at Harvard University.

  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 1975
  • Harvard University, M. Div., 1972
  • Abilene Christian College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1969
  • Massachusetts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Former Chair, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers, Criminal Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Pre-eminent Lawyers, criminal trial practice
  • Included in National Directory of Criminal Lawyers, Gold Publishing
  • 2014: Selected by Rue Ratings “Best Attorneys of America”
  • 2010-present: Named a  “Best Lawyer in America©” in the fields of Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense – White Collar; and
  • 2009-present: Named a “Massachusetts Super Lawyer” in the area of Criminal Defense
  • 2004: “Not in My Court: The Reach of Federal Laws to the Unintentional Visitor, ” with Kimberly Homan. New England Law Review, Volume 38, Number 4